Managing Projects

Definition: A set of principles, methods, and techniques used to plan and control project work effectively to achieve project objectives.

Tips

 

Consider these suggestions when honing your ability to manage projects:

  • Define the Project– take time to fully understand what exactly you are doing and why you are doing it
  • Plan the Work – brainstorm with all who will be involved with the project, and formulate a detailed plan

·         Set Realistic Deadlines – be realistic about the time needed to complete the project, and have realistic expectations. Determine the constraints of the project (e.g., time, cost/resources, and scope).

  • Assess Risks – early in the project be aware of potential pitfalls, so you can create solutions ahead of time
  • Communicate – talk frequently with those involved in the project as it allows for everyone to be on the same page
  • Track Progress – perform frequent (e.g. weekly) check-ins to make sure progress is being made
  • Resolve Issues – issues will likely manifest, so be ready to find solutions
  • Know When to Finish – be aware of when the project is coming to an end, and avoid wasting resources on unnecessary work

 

Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” – Joy Gumz

 

Self-Directed Learning Activities

 

Relevant Readings:

·         Project Management (LINK PDF)

·         Project Management Principles (LINK PDF)

·         Project Management Processes (LINK PDF)

·         Managing Project Scope (LINK PDF)

·         The Phases of Project Management (LINK DOC)

·         Project Management Templates and EBooks: http://www.free-management-ebooks.com/skills-project.htm

 

Books:

·         Frame, J. D. (2002). The new project management: tools for an age of rapid change, complexity, and other business realities. John Wiley & Sons.

·         Gray, C., & Larson, E. (2006). Project management: The managerial process (3rd ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.

·         Mager, R. F. (1999). What Every Manager Should Know about Training: An Insider's Guide to Getting Your Money's Worth from Training. Center for Effective Performance.

·         Schwaber, K. (2004). Agile project management with Scrum. Microsoft press.

·         Project Management Institute (2013) A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK, 5th ed.). Project Management Institute, Inc.

 

PowerPoints/Videos:

·         Project Management: http://www.slideshare.net/satishyadavalli/project-management-24470138

·         Project Management (Link PPT)

·         Project Management Podcast (30 min): http://www.project-management-podcast.com/

·         The Sensible Project Manager 101 Podcast: http://www.sensiblepm.com/podcasts/pm101podcast/

 

Tools:

·         Project Management Issue Tracker Template (EXCEL)

·         Project Management Project Timeline Template (EXCEL)

 

Self-Guided Activities:

·         Think back to a previous or current project and identify the components of a Project Scope Statement. Use the template provided.

·         Create a Gantt chart for a team of three to prepare and present an oral report. Use lined paper to show the timing of five or more tasks for this project.

·         Almost everyone has worked at some time on a project that—while good intentioned did not turned out as planned and organized. Evaluate one of these past projects and identify what went right and what could have been done better. Could the use of organizational tools such as Gantt-or Flow charts increased the chances of success? Did the project suffer because of poor communication and infrequent team meetings? Write a short analysis of the project with suggestions to how you improve its success for future students.

·         This training module provides information on managing projects. Included in this training is information about project basics, roles, planning and implementing. In addition, tools are provided that will help you organize and present project information. Be sure to utilize the Key Points & Self-Quiz links located on the left side of the screen throughout the training to check your learning!

o   https://www.ncsu.edu/project/parkprgrd/PSTrainingModules/projectmgt/proj11frame.htm

·         Think of a previous project or a current one and conduct a risk analysis while planning for contingencies.

 

Guided Learning Activities

 

Experiences:

·         If applicable, after completing a project with team members, work through the Project Closure Checklist and the Lessons Learned documents to help with improving the project management process.

·         Remember to keep your emails short and simple when sending updates and delegating tasks. Work on the content and formatting of your emails and get feedback from a coworker or supervisor on whether or not your emails have been effective in getting the message across quickly.

·         Find someone who works as a project manager or is a member of a project team. Use the interview guidelines and ask the questions in person, via the phone, or via the internet. Discuss the results with your team/peers, and then prepare a one-page paper or prepare a short presentation to summarize your findings. (See page 33-34 of Schwalbe pdf)

·         Practice making a project plan for a large personal project at home, church, etc. use the following link as a reference on how to create your own plan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHO9CNu808k. Once you feel comfortable creating and using a project plan, start implementing this technique for work-related projects. Use one of the Learning Journals to reflect after practicing the project plan. Assess what went right and where you could improve, and analyze the overall outcome of your project.

 

Formal Training/Education

 

School and Course Module(s):

·         Northern Wyoming Community College

o   Project Management – BADM 2000: This course introduces students to the process involved in planning a project and the tools needed to manage a project. Students explore practical project management techniques consistent with the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK Guide), including key factors that contribute to the success of a project. Upon completion of this class, students will plan, design and assess a business project.

·         Laramie County Community College

o   Microsoft Project Management –MSFT 2900: Students learn to plan, design, and manage technical projects. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, design, and manage technology-based projects effectively in order to meet the business needs. Students plan and design Microsoft systems and networks through the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). Students develop a project plan which addresses all phases of a successful project. Students use project management tools to aid in the design and implementation of their projects.

o   Production and Operations Management- DSCI 2210: An introductory course in production and operations management. Students gain knowledge and skills about operations strategy, project management, forecasting, quality management, supply chain management, inventory management, production and operations planning. Students apply these decision-making strategies to typical management situations.

o   Principles of Management – MGT 2100: Students examine the theory and practice of management. Utilizing goal-oriented action, students work collaboratively to create a service project for a non-profit agency integrating the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Students examine the rolls and responsibilities of modern managers in an organization.